I’ve talked about how I don’t keep anniversaries of him, but I wouldn’t be wholly honest if I said I don’t think about him on those dates. For me, the good memories are few and far between.
For my kids and me, even some holidays aren’t easy to celebrate–not because any of us miss him, but because how his behavior during various holidays marred our enjoying of those special days. Even Mother’s Day. He didn’t see value in “special days.”
Everyone deals with special dates, anniversaries, and holidays differently. And that’s okay. Just because I don’t do something commemorative for his birthday or our anniversary, that doesn’t mean other people shouldn’t.
It’s important that we deal with those days the way we need to, not the way other people or society or some out-dated cultural norm expects us to.
If you need to make a cake or special meal or whatever on his birthday, then do it. Or not. Who cares what anyone else thinks about it?
Some people post tributes and commemorations and memories on social media. That’s their choice. And it’s a valid choice–for them. No one should feel obligated to just because the social media culture seems to expect it. I’m not going to post memorials of a man who abused us just to maintain the façade of a perfect marriage that wasn’t.
The pressure society puts on widowed people is bizarre to me. And it’s full of contradictions.
- “Grieve for a year and then move on.” and “You moved on already? Isn’t it too soon?”
- “It’s wonderful how you mention your anniversary.” and “How long are you going to hold onto someone who’s gone?”
- “It’s been a few months. Don’t you think it’s time to clean out his closet?” and “Do you really want to get rid of all his things?”
I’m sure the list goes on and on. The whiplash it gives me…
This post feels rambly to me. My point is that we all need to deal with the special days and traditions for our own grief processing in the way that nurtures and helps heal us and our families. Don’t accept judgement from anyone about what you need.
Embrace whatever that looks like for you.
I’d love to hear from you. What traditions or dates do you keep, if any?